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I was born and raised in Morristown, NJ. The years I spent there in a home on Lake Valley Road shaped my life and my writing, which began there, when I was 11. My childhood memoir, When I Was German, tells that story.
Now, at 49, I'm still writing. I'm divorced, have two teenaged kids, and was out of work for almost 2 years in the Great Recession. I've been writing about that, too. A novel, The Seventh Round, that I will publish soon, tells that story. And another is in the works. I'm most prolific, and adept, at telling my own life story, whether in memoir, or fiction.
Like Hemingway said, write what you know.
As for the writers I most admire, well, Hemingway, of course. And Bukowski...I can't read any other poetry but his. Vonnegut, Cormac McCarthy, George Orwell, and Mark Twain.